Friday, November 19, 2010

Haitian robocall spooks U.S. Army base

With election day coming up on the 28th of this month, Haiti’s presidential and legislative candidates are campaigning very hard. One strategy led to a scare at a U.S. army base hundreds of miles away from the Caribbean country:
Fort Bragg officials say it appears political robocalls from Haiti led to a series of evacuations around the sprawling Army post. 

Spokesman Tom McCollum said Fort Bragg received numerous phone calls Wednesday that included someone speaking in French Creole. Officials heard a garbled word that sounded like "bomb," suspected that they were bomb threats and initiated evacuations. First responders searched the buildings and found nothing threatening.

The campaign calls were made to other parts along the east coast of the U.S. on Wednesday. One Haitian community activist in Florida claimed that the calls came from one of the eighteen presidential candidates who was “telling people here that he wants to get elected."

Image- AFP via BBC News (“In Port-au-Prince, Haiti, posters promote the campaigns of candidates in the country's elections” held in 2006).
Online Sources- CBS News, UPI,

Who controls Calero Island?

Tensions between the neighboring countries of Costa Rica and Nicaragua continue to be high over the sovereignty of a disputed territory known as the Calero Island. Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General José Miguel Insulza insisted that both countries seek a peaceful resolution through dialogue but it doesn’t look like that will occur any time soon.

Yesterday Costa Rica 's foreign ministry filed a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Nicaraguan troops invaded Costa Rican territory and this "threatens imminent and irreparable harm" to Costa Rica according to the case filed with the U.N.’s highest court. The suit requests that the ICJ halt Nicaraguan plans to build “a canal on Costa Rican soil” and also claimed that environmental damage is occurring due to a Nicaraguan “dredging project” along the San Juan River.

Nicaraguan officials denied that their troops invaded Costa Rican territory and instead alleged that the Calero Island sits on the Nicaraguan side of the border. Nicaraguan Ambassador to the OAS Denis Moncada said that his country will also file suit at the ICJ and that the OAS has “no jurisdiction” over the matter. The OAS previously urged that Nicaraguan troops leave the disputed area yet President Daniel Ortega said that the troops would stay on the island “indefinitely.”

The border dispute is best known over claims that Nicaragua occupied Calero Island due to a glitch in Google Maps. But an article in the New York Times insinuated that Nicaraguan soldiers deliberately crossed the border in order to encourage nationalist support for Ortega. The article also linked to a Tico Times interview with Ortega where he said that the controversial dredging operation is legal via a previous ICJ decision on the San Juan River.

Blogger Kevin Alvarez expressed his disgust over the “pissing contest” between Ortega and his Costa Rican counterpart Laura Chinchilla over Calero Island. Though he places most of the blame on Ortega, he also points the finger at Chinchilla for seeking "quick political capital":
Gaining sovereignty over Isla Calero will not solve Costa Rica or Nicaragua’s problems. It will rile Central American against Central American and reignite distrust between these two neighbors. Not only will this not alleviate poverty, reduce corruption (it might increase), or make one nation stronger than the other but it will prolong the hostility in Latin America over lines in sand/water/earth drawn by colonial conquerors and liberators long ago.
Image- Google Earth via The Guardian (“Google Earth shows the stretch of land at the center of the Central American dispute.”)
Online Sources- El Sueno de Bolivar, Americas Quarterly, CNN, LAHT, Tico Times, New York Times

Report: Mexican newspapers limit drug violence coverage

Back in September an editorial in the El Diario de (Ciudad) Juarez newspaper offered to make a truce with the area’s violent drug gangs. "We ask you to explain what you want from us, what we should try to publish or not publish, so we know what to expect,” read part of the editorial that was published days after gunmen murdered an El Diario photographer. According to a report released this week El Diario isn’t the only media outlet feeling pressure from so-called “narcoviolence.”

An investigation by Fundacion MEPI of eleven regional newspapers concluded that they rarely covered violence related to organized crime. “It's not that the pages of police news are empty, but that the newspapers focus on minor crimes or acts that have nothing to do with the drug world," said the report entitled “México: The New Spiral of Silence”.

The MEPI reported highlighted coverage by the El Norte newspaper from Ciudad Juárez. Though drug gangs have been linked to roughly 300 murders each month since the beginning of this year El Norte mentioned on less than 40 stories per month on these criminal organizations. In another case, the MEPI report found that drug violence coverage in Veracruz’ El Dictamen nosedived after a reporter was kidnapped reportedly gangs and then subsequently released.

Perhaps the clearest example of this journalistic repression occurred months ago in Pachuca:
(Weeks before Valentine’s Day) mysterious letters were delivered to local reporters in various smaller towns surrounding the capital of Pachuca. The letters invited reporters, free-lancers who typically earn $400 a month, to a party at the ranch Santa Inez, in Tepeji del Río, a local town.

A reporter from the Valle del Mezquital who did not attend the party relayed an account he told MEPI he had heard from two colleagues. "Someone stopped the music and told those present everything was for them: the women, the alcohol, the gifts."

The only condition: do not interfere with business.

Soon after Valentine's Day, reporting on drug-related violence in Hidalgo plummeted, according to the MEPI story. Nobody ever wrote about the party or the message to reporters.
The MEPI report concentrated on regional dailies but it also noted an alleged lack of attention to the regional press by national media outlets. Part of the reason for this is an economic crisis that has hit all forms of media very hard. Yet El Norte editor Alfredo Quijano claimed that there is an “arrogance” by the major media against regional dailies and he claimed in the report that “more foreign correspondents have come to (Ciudad) Juarez than journalists” from Mexico City.

Image- AP via MSNBC (“A soldier and investigators work at the site where a vehicle exploded outside the Televisa network in the northern city of Ciudad Victoria, Mexico” last August).
Online Sources- Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas,, ProPublica, The Latin Americanist, New York Daily News

Nuestro Cine: Trash to treasure

On Thursday the shortlist of the fifteen films in the running for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar was revealed. Among the favorites to win the prized stautette are The Tillman Story, Waiting for ‘Superman’, and Exit Through The Gift Shop as well as a unique film set in Brazil.

Waste Land tells the tale of a project created by Brazilian expat artist Vik Muniz with the garbage pickers from Rio de Janiero's largest landfill. Muniz helped the "catadores" create portraits of themselves using the thousands of pounds of trash they sort through on a daily basis. The film shows the hardships the "catadores" go through (they earn their living by finding and selling scraps of recyclable materials) and the impact art can have on people. In addition, as was written in The Documentary Blog:
The result is a touching but controversial project that has the artist and his partners questioning the effects of interfering with the lives of these people. Will giving them a taste of life outside of the landfill provide them with unrealistic hopes? Will returning to picking devastate them? The film is shot quite nicely and Moby provides a wonderful score. Definitely worth checking out.
Directed by Britain's Lucy Walker, Waste Land may be a dark horse candidate to win the Oscar next February. Nevertheless, it is a very compelling and thoughtful documentary as you might be able to appreciate in the trailer below:

Video Source - YouTube via The Documentary Blog
Online Sources - The A.V. Club, BBC News, The Documentary Blog

Daily Headlines: November 19, 2010

* Dominican Republic: Rest in peace Freddy Beras Goico; the iconic comedian and TV personality died yesterday several days shy of what would’ve been his seventieth birthday.

* Uruguay: An amnesty law that has protected members of Uruguay’s former military junta has also "stood in the way of bringing to account those who were responsible for the abuses," according to remarks by Argentine poet Juan Gelman to IPS.

* Bolivia: President Evo Morales proposed nationalizing the Bolivian pensions system in addition to lowering the retirement age to 58.

* Mexico: Eleven suspected drug gang members were killed during a shootout with Mexican soldiers near the country’s border with the U.S.

Image – AP via Houston Chronicle (Image of Freddy Beras Goico from 2009. Dominicans worldwide mourned the death of the iconic figure who passed away in a New York hospital yesterday).
Online Sources- MSNBC, Reuters, IPS, Dominican Today

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mexicans end White House hunger strike

Last week we looked at thirteen women from the U.S.-Mexico border area who took part in a hunger strike near the White House. On Wednesday the women representing La Mujer Obrera (The Working Women) organization ended their fast that lasted ten days.

According to Gina Cardenas in Global Voices:

La Mujer Obrera is critical of the Obama administration's border initiatives which they claim do not address the needs of the community or working women, and instead favor construction and security industries.

In their campaign against poverty and violence along the border, the women use social networking tools such as a campaign blog, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to share their message and generate support for their demonstration. Their efforts have been noticed by bloggers from the U.S. and Mexico.

A statement from the group said that the protest ended after receiving word that a federal commission would soon visit the border area. "The concerns of border women are not invisible anymore thanks to our efforts" said part of the letter according to the website of Mexican daily El Universal.

Image - Milenio
Online Sources - The Latin Americanist, El Universal, Global Voices

ICC investigates Honduras

While a Honduran truth commission writes up their report on alleged human rights abuses, other investigations are in the works.

International Criminal Court (ICC) Luis Moreno Ocampo told the press that "preliminary examinations" into Honduras and Nigeria are underway. He said that the ICC has received “many communications” about possible crimes in those two countries and that the tribunal was examining if they have sufficient jurisdiction to look into the allegations.

Moreno Ocampo refrained from providing to many details of the ICC’s work though he admitted that one of the court’s investigations pertains to the aftermath of the June 2009 coup/ouster of then-Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.

The probe could lead to indictments for crimes against humanity or war crimes. Honduras isn’t the only Latin American nation under the ICC’s scrutiny:
Honduras and Nigeria join a list of other countries where it is conducting preliminary examinations to determine whether it has the jurisdiction to open formal investigations. The list also includes Afghanistan, Colombia, Georgia, Guinea, Ivory Coast and the Palestinian territories.
In remarks made to Honduras’ Radio Globo, Zelaya claimed that government plans to bring him back from exile in the Dominican Republic are in reality a “smokescreen”. He accused the government of trying to “distract” attention from civil unrest over land distribution in the Bajo Aguan region.

Image- (“Supporters of ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya protest in front of the National Congress in Tegucigalpa” in July 2009.)
Online Sources-, LAHT, BusinessWeek, The Latin Americanist, Reuters, MSNBC

Sylvia Mendez to receive Medal of Freedom

A prominent Latina civil rights figure will soon receive the U.S.’ highest civilian honor.

Yesterday President Barack Obama named Sylvia Mendez as one of the fifteen honorees to receive the Medal of Freedom in early 2011. The award will be given to “individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors," according to a White House statement.

Mendez, who is of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent, is best known for a vital court case that began the process of desegregating schools. In 1943 an eight-year-old Mendez was barred from enrolling in an Orange County, California public elementary school for “whites” due to her dark skin and racial background. Her parents joined with other Latino parents and subsequently filed a federal lawsuit against the school district. Mendez reportedly testified and “showed that Hispanic-American students had the same capacity for learning as their white counterparts.” A federal judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs and in 1947 then-governor Earl Warren ordered all Californian schools to halt racial segregation.

The verdict in the Mendez v. Westminster case came seven years before the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case in the Supreme Court ended racial segregation in public schools. The unanimous decision by the high court (including Chief Justice Earl Warren) may not have been reached without the breakthrough decision involving Sylvia Mendez.

The following video excerpt comes from a 2002 documentary that examined the immediate and long-term repercussions of impact the Mendez v. Westminster case:

Since the fiftieth anniversary of the Brown case in 2004, the Mendez decision has received renewed attention. Sylvia Mendez is a retired nurse and mother of two who travels and lectures on the importance of getting a solid education. In 2007 a stamp was dedicated in her name while in 2009 a school in the Los Angeles neighborhood was named after her parents, Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez.

Ex-President George H.W. Bush, poet Maya Angelou and baseball legend Stan Musial were also named as the next Medal of Freedom recipients.

Dancer/actress Chita Rivera and Dr. Pedro Jose Greer received the medal in August 2009 and other Latinos who previously received the prestigious honor included Roberto Clemente and Cesar Chavez. Not every recipient is universally praised, as was the case (in our opinion) with then-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.

Video Source - YouTube
Online Sources- White House, Poder 360, UPI, Wikipedia, In Motion Magazine, USA TODAY, The Latin Americanist

Daily Headlines: November 18, 2010

* Argentina: Lionel Messi's last-second score was the lone goal in Argentina's tough win over traditional regional soccer rivals Brazil.

* Cuba: A division of Russian energy giant Gazprom will help explore and develop several possibly lucrative Cuban offshore oil blocks.

* Honduras: The murders of most of the 260 Honduran women killed this year have gone unpunished according to a local women's rights organization.

* Ecuador: Could a weakened economy lead to another attempted "coup" against President Rafael Correa?

Video Source - YouTube via ElEspectador com
Online Sources -, CBC, Reuters, Bloomberg, The Latin Americanist

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chile: Protests target mining industry, gov’t

It probably wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to guess that the media will consider the October rescue of 33 Chilean miners as the feel-good story of 2010. Edison Pena bravely ran a sub-6 hour marathon and Brad Pitt may be behind a film on the workers’ plight. Back in Chile, meanwhile, the country's mining industry and government are targets of numerous demonstrations.

Workers are entering their second week of a strike at the Collahuasi copper mine, the world’s third largest. The Chilean government, who pledged to improve the country’s mining safety regulations in the wake of the San Jose mine disaster, offered to mediate between strikers and over 1500 employers. Yet management and employees have not contacted each other since discussions over wages and benefits broke off on November 4th.

The mine’s operators said that the mine iss running normally with backup workers as part of a contingency plan. However a union spokeswoman told the press that it’s “not possible for 200 (temporary) workers to replace 1,551 specialized workers.” In the meantime the strikers are reportedly residing in an abandoned school in the city of Iquique and have received support from locals in the area.

Chile’s mining industry has come under increased scrutiny since the mine collapse that left the 33 miners trapped underground for about seventy days. Unfortunately the reform promised by President Sebastian Pinera has been slow to materialize. Earlier this month two workers were killed after a mine collapsed due to the illegal use of explosives. To make the situation worse the mine’s administrator has allegedly fled the country and is on the lam.

Recently we examined how some victims of February’s deadly earthquakes in central Chile where bitter over the perception that the government was ignoring them and instead focusing excessively on the 33 rescued miners. With that idea in mind, one group of Chilean women started their own unique protest:
Thirty-three women have taken over the former Chiflon del Diablo underground coal mine in south- central Chile and initiated a hunger strike to protest government dismissals, newspaper La Tercera reported.

The women are protesting the dismissal of 12,600 people who were temporarily hired by the military to help communities recover from the February earthquake, the Santiago-based newspaper reported in its online edition, citing Brigida Lara, a spokeswoman for the protesters.
The protesters said that they would not leave the former mine (now a tourist attraction) until the government “rescues” the terminated works program. The government’s response has so far come from a tourism official calling on the women to peacefully end their actions and “avoid any destruction or damage to a historic site".

Online Sources- BBC News, The Guardian, Bloomberg, Reuters, BusinessWeek, The Latin Americanist

De Musica Ligera: Opera a la Mexicana

What happens when you combine two great forms of music? The result could be either an unmitigated train wreck or a brilliant concept come to life. Thankfully the latter occurred several nights ago in Houston, Texas.

“Cruzar la cara de la Luna” (“To Cross the Face of the Moon”) was billed as the world’s first mariachi opera and it took place on Saturday at the Houston Grand Opera. Mezzo-sopranos Cecilia Duarte and Vanessa Cerda performed along with the thirteen-member Mariachi Vargas de Tecatitlan to tell a tale of family bonding, immigration, and the tying of cultures.

José "Pepe" Martinez, music director of Mariachi Vargas, composed the music while Broadway director Leonard Foglia helped guide the unique mariachi opera. In remarks to the Houston Chronicle, Foglia said that he wanted to write a story “with universal appeal” and he received personal inspiration from his Italian-born father. He added that now was the ideal time to feature such a one-of-a-kind tale:
"Everyone wants his story told," Foglia says, "wants to feel his life has some significance to the larger society. It's important to tell these stories, especially now, when there is sometimes such a rancorous debate about immigration."
Four additional staged performances (with the same vocal leads but a different mariachi group) of “Cruzar…” will be held from December 3-5 at the Talento Bilingüe de Houston. Otherwise please enjoy the following video taken by one of the audience members who attended Saturday’s performance:

Video Source - YouTube
Online Sources- Talento Bilingüe de Houston, La Opinion, Houston Chronicle, Wikipedia

Daily Headlines: November 17, 2010

* Dominican Republic: The death toll from Haiti’s cholera outbreak has grown to over 1000 fatalities while the first case of the disease was detected across the border in the Dominican Republic.

* Latin America: Traditional Mexican cuisine, Colombia’s marimba instrument, and the Peruvian huaconada dance were added to UNESCO’s global “intangible heritage list.”

* Paraguay: A planned British scientific expedition into Paraguay was suspended due to concerns over the heath and safety of indigenous tribes.

* Cuba: Yoani Sanchez, Cuba’s most famous blogger, was honored with a human rights award from a Danish think tank.

Image – LAHT
Online Sources-, The Guardian, LAHT, BBC News

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ex-Uruguay president blasts Philip Morris

Under then-President Tabare Vazquez, Uruguay became one of the world's strongest anti-tobacco countries. Since 2006 smoking is barred in public places and the former cancer specialist prohibited all tobacco advertising. Though Vazquez has been out of the presidency since last March he has not shied away from emphasizing the ill effects of smoking as well as criticizing tobacco multinationals.

During a speech given at a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting in Montevideo, Vazquez accused Philip Morris of unfairly trying to “intimidate” countries like Uruguay. Philip Morris “like all tobacco companies does not care for the health of their consumers” said Vazquez who also accused the firm of attempting to “punish” Uruguay due to the anti-smoking laws. “Tobacco, like war, produces deaths among citizens around the world while enriching a few," said Vasquez at the conference.

Earlier this year Philip Morris filed for arbitration at the World Bank against the Uruguay government. The company claimed that the tobacco restrictions violated signed trade pacts and that they also unjustly hurt business with the South American country. In July current president Jose Mujica partially caved into pressure from the tobacco giant by modifying the anti-smoking laws. Yet he reversed himself in September by strengthening the ban on smoking indoors.

At the WHO meeting this week, Mujica refused to bow down completely to the tobacco industry:
President Jose Mujica described Uruguay Monday as a "laboratory of confrontation" with Big Tobacco…

Mujica said the trade violation claim seeks to "complicate the life and sovereignty of a small nation that has the boldness to defend itself and try to defend the health of its people."

He said Uruguay will maintain its anti-smoking laws despite the pressure.
A statement from Philip Morris (via Reuters) said that the firm “disputed several regulations” that “go far beyond public health objectives” of Uruguay.

Uruguay’s push against tobacco has earned praise not only from health care advocates worldwide but also from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. On Monday he reportedly pledged $375 million of his own money to pay for Uruguay’s legal defense.

Online Sources- La Republica, The Guardian, BusinessWeek, MSNBC, AFP, New York Times,

Colombia: Gays excluded from reparations bill

Great strides have been made in recent years to promote the rights of Latin America’s LGBT community. Several months ago, for instance, Argentina became the first country in the region to permit same-sex marriages. Yet there is still plenty of work that could still be done.

Last September the Colombian government presented a reparations bill for victims of the country’s brutal armed conflict. The proposal, which was similar to a proposal defeated in the legislature last year, would includes a plan to return land to victims and more aid for the social sector. The plan as presented to congress made sure to recognize victims regardless of gender, race, or religion.

Unfortunately the Ley de Victimas (Victims Law) has reportedly been undermined by conservative legislators. According to an article in Colombia’s El Espectador, several congressmen want to exclude gays as a group protected under the Victims Law. “If a gay or lesbian lost his/her partner due to the armed conflict they will not be covered” under the proposal said gay rights activist Mauricio Albarracín to the daily.

Conservative legislator Oscar Bravo said that the clause was eliminated since there was already language against discrimination written into the proposal. Furthermore, it may be the case that eliminating gays from the proposal can help the entire bill get passed by the legislature. Yet the bill itself recognizes heterosexual couples as victims if they are married or in a similar conjugal relationship. One gay rights advocate claimed that the move was “homophobic” and implied that removing the clause was “in accordance” to policies espoused by local Catholic Church officials.

On a related note, the debate over the Victims Law wasn’t the only issue affecting Colombia’s LGBT community last week. The Constitutional Court ruled against a lawsuit to legalize civil marriage for same-sex couples after claiming that the case was filed in an “irregular manner”. Some Colombians did not take the decision lightly:
Gay rights advocates in Colombia planned to protest Friday after the nation's highest court rejected a lawsuit that could have legalized gay marriage.

Protesters are planning to gather in the central square of Bogota, the nation's capital, Friday, said Yeiler Manuel Tapia Barrios, an activist from the coastal town of Barranquilla.

"We feel that they are violating our rights as citizens. We also pay the same taxes," said Tapia, 24.
Image- (“Pride revelers celebrate in Bogota, Columbia earlier this year.”)
Online Sources- El Espectador, Americas Quarterly, The Latin Americanist, CNN

Daily Headlines: November 16, 2010

* U.S.: The presidents of Mexico and Colombia were vocal in their opposition against California’s defeated Prop 19 yet they’ve yet to comment on an Arizona voter initiate that approved medical marijuana.

* Argentina: The Paris Club group of creditor nations agreed to negotiate the repayment of Argentina’s debt without IMF supervision.

* Dominican Republic: Reliever Neftali Feliz won the American League’s Rookie of the Year as a result of an All-star season that included recording forty saves.

* Mexico: A seven-month-old baby was among the ten migrant hostages freed by the Mexican navy on Monday.

Image – CNN (“Arizona joins 14 other states that permit medical marijuana. The store in the photo is in California.”)
Online Sources-, Christian Science Monitor, The Telegraph, Reuters, Canadian Press

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today’s Video: Haiti's S.O.S.

It's difficult to believe that the health situation in Haiti could get worse but sadly that has been the case. The country's cholera outbreak, which has already claimed over 900 deaths since it began nearly one month ago, has reportedly spread into Port-au-Prince earthquake survivor camps.

According to the U.N.'s Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti, the number of cholera cases is expected to rise with better data collection. Yet Nigel Fisher also noted that the outbreak has hit all of Haiti's provinces and residents of overcrowded urban slums are especially at risk.

Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that some Haitians vented their frustration on Monday:
In the country's second city of Cap-Haitien on the north coast, the demonstrators torched a police station after confronting U.N. troops, while in Hinche in the central region, they pelted Nepalese U.N. peacekeepers with stones...

A cholera epidemic, which broke out last month, has killed more than 900 people in the poor earthquake-hit Caribbean country, and the U.N. mission has repeatedly denied widespread rumors that Nepalese U.N. troops quartered in the central region brought the deadly disease to Haiti.
The latest episode of "60 Minutes" looked at the precarious situation in Haiti including a perceived lack of progress despite billions of dollars in pledged foreign aid. The outlook for one of the poorest countries in the Americas is, in short, not good:

Online Sources - Voice of America, Reuters
Video Source - CBS

World Watch: What’s next?

* Myanmar: Dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi was freed on Saturday though it remains to be seen how this will affect Myanmar’s anti-junta activists.

* Israel: The Israeli government could freeze new housing settlements in exchange for “military hardware” and other “incentives” from the U.S.

* U.S.: According to a Justice Department report uncovered by the New York Times, U.S. intelligence officials created a “safe haven” for wanted Nazis after World War II.

* Germany: Sebastian Vettel became the youngest driver to win the Formula 1 driver’s title after wining the final rest of the season.

Image – CBC (“Aung San Suu Kyi is surrounded as supporters gather to hear her speak outside the National League for Democracy party headquarters in Rangoon. (Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters).”)
Online Sources- NPR, ABC Online, MSNBC, The Guardian

Daily Headlines: November 15, 2010

* U.S.: Mexican-American boxer Antonio Margarito lost his WBC light-middleweight title after being outpunched and overwhelmed by Philippine pugilist Manny Pacquiao.

* Guatemala: It can be a very challenging task to combat widespread political corruption; just ask the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala.

* Cuba: Officials agreed to free a political prisoner who rejected being exiled and will be permitted to live on the island.

* Peru: Japan and Peru reached a free trade deal that is expected to remove tariffs on 99% of trade between the two countries within the next ten years.

Image – CNN (“Manny Pacquiao (right) unleashes yet another flurry of punches against Antonio Margarito in Dallas.”)
Online Sources- New York Daily News, CBS News, AFP, Reuters